Commonwealth Bank Matildas captain Samantha Kerr was today recognised in the Honours List by the Council for the Order of Australia.
Kerr, who last Friday became Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer, has been awarded the Order of Australia medal for services to football.
The latest award for the Commonwealth Bank Matildas striker follows an incredible 12 months that saw the 28-year-old named as a finalist for world football’s top prizes; FIFA’s The Best and the Ballon d’Or.
In 2021, Kerr also captained Australia to a history making run at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where the Commonwealth Bank Matildas finished fourth.
On the pitch, the West Australian has evolved into a global superstar and is widely considered one of the best and most influential players in women’s football. Off the pitch, Kerr’s capacity to connect genuinely with supporters has empowered a new generation of girls and boys to become active in sport and in football.
This is such a great honour. To be recognised alongside so many great Australians is very humbling, especially for doing what you love,” Kerr said.
“In receiving this honour I’d like to take the opportunity to thank my family, my teammates, past and present, for both club and country, for all the support that they have given me over my career to date.”
The 2018 Young Australian of the Year, Kerr’s accomplishments on the field are substantial. The forward has been nominated for FIFA’s The Best award for the past four years and has been named the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Player of the Year (2017).
With her clubs Perth Glory, Sky Blue FC, Chicago Red Stars and Chelsea WFC, Kerr has collected six Golden Boot awards in the last five years and has been twice awarded the Julie Dolan Medal for the W- League Player of the Year. In 2017 she was named the ABC Sport Personality of the Year.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, congratulated Kerr and acknowledged the contribution she has made to Australian football.
“The Australian football community has always been incredibly proud of the exploits and leadership of Sam and now she has received formal recognition that is richly deserved,” Johnson said. “I warmly congratulate her on yet another accolade that cements the pride Australians have in Sam and the Commonwealth Bank Matildas.”
“Australian football continues to grow and that is in large part due to the rise of women's football in the past decade. The Commonwealth Bank Matildas have evolved into a truly iconic Australia team and Sam, now as captain of the team and Australia's greatest goal-scorer, has played her part in that transformation. Importantly, Sam and her teammates have demonstrated how their actions on the pitch can have a positive societal impact off the pitch, transforming the perception of women in sport with their championing of gender equality.”
Football is committed to becoming Australia’s largest community sport to reach gender parity by 2027. With the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ next year, we know that Sam and the Commonwealth Bank Matildas have the ability to inspire more women and girls into participating in football at all levels.”
Football Australia also wishes to acknowledge Mr Julius Re for receiving a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia “for service to football”, and Karen Waud "for service to sport as an administrator and player".
A member of the Football Australia and West Australian Football Hall of Fame, Mr Re was instrumental in the formation of the WA Soccer Federation and the Australian Soccer Federation in the 1960s. He was also a co-founder of Perth Football Club, as well as holding the position of chairman of the Australian Soccer Federation Referee committee.
Ms Waud is a leading administrator of our game, and has been involved with West Ryde Rovers FC for over 50 years, as well as serving as a chairperson for North West Sydney Football . In 2019 she was rewarded with a Football NSW State Award for her services to the game, notably in volunteer roles.
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